Nomads of the Sahara – Part 4

By Linda Brumfitt | January 31st, 2020   No comments
Sahara Nomad Story Teller

Salm – the free nomad

Meet Salm, a 58 year old Berber Nomad who lives in the M’hamid Sahara, near Erg Chegaga.
Of all the desert nomads of Morocco, he is one of the very few who has refused to leave the desert, despite that nowadays he has the demands of his kids’ education. He has 7 children and he had to send four of them to get their education. They went to live with their relatives in M’hamid and the village of Tagounit.
It is a little bit hard for him and his wife and the rest of his family to be away from their children  but his income is related to goats and some camels that he rents to the tourist industry. I asked him if he ever plans to leave the desert but his answer was faithful to the desert because he replied that the desert life style makes him feel free and he is never planning to lose his freedom by living into a city or a village.

Salm nomad of Sahara

Moha-the greatest nomad

After the death of Moha’s father, his family had to sell their pack of goats and settle in the village of M’hamid. They thought the desert manifested the loss of their father. But Moha, unlike the rest of his family, decided to stay in the desert. The family wanted to sell their camels to raise money because there was no-one old enough to take over the job of herding the pack. But Moha refused to sell.

Mohar nomad of the sahara

So, when he was 14 years old, he went herding a big pack of camels as the family had no income after his father death. Moha had to carry so much responsibility by himself at young age. He was alone and small but he was strong. At that time, there was a huge migration of nomads to the south of Morocco. He joined some other nomads and he migrated too. The way was long but he got there, to very south of Morocco! And he stayed for few years. When he returned home he got to be one of the best known nomads as he had so many camels, many more than other desert nomads of Morocco.

Read Part 3 here

Mobarak – the storyteller nomad

Mobarek is usually referred to as Amghar which is a term of endearment and respect for an old man. He was born in the time that cattle were the only source of income, in a town named Benssour. After political borders were drawn, this part of the desert became Algeria not Morocco. He lived through the Sand Wars but his family were evicted from their pasture lands by the Algerian army during the Sand War in 1963. They were dislocated again (pushed into Morocco) after the Green March in 1975.

Mubarek Nomad Guide

The limitation and war has had a huge impact on the family’s life, whilst they still kept to the only lifestyle they had ever known. But Amghar found his passion in herding his animals and being around them. He got married but later his wife died leaving him with 5 children. He married again and fathered another 3 children with his new wife.  After the death of his father, their heritage was split between him and his siblings from which he received a small herd of around 100 heads.

Sadly his children didn’t want to live the same nomadic life style, so he was left alone to deal with all of it;  Consequently, he had to sell his cattle and with the money he bought some desert land and built himself a house. He now works with us as a guardian and guide and most of all as a storyteller but will always remain one of the desert nomads of Morocco in his heart.


To get to know more about the life of a nomad, come on one of our authentic desert treks in Merzouga, Morocco. For more information or just to chat with someone who has done these treks themselves – email us on

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